Marks leaving Auburn, Coleman could follow

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Gene Chizik's job at Auburn just got a lot harder, at least in the short term.

Star defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks told ESPN's Joe Schad early Tuesday morning that he plans to forego his junior season and will enter the NFL draft. Marks said that he believes Auburn defensive end Antonio Coleman is also planning to turn pro.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15.

Marks and Coleman were both explosive defenders that made offenses change the way they attacked the Tigers. They combined for 20.5 tackles for loss this season, and both were versatile enough to move around and still be effective.

Spring practice will be interesting on the Plains. Not only will the Tigers be putting in a new spread offense with newly hired offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn, but the defense looks like it's going to have a bunch of new faces, too.

And if there are again some growing pains offensively next season, which there are sure to be, the Tigers won't be able to lean on their defense nearly as much as they did this season.

It's scary to think how ugly it would have been this season had the Tigers not played as well as they did defensively.